We know not what we should pray for as we ought.
"Lord – save and help me!" was the sweet psalmist plea. "Give us the daily bread we need today!" the Lord encourages us to request of God. "Pray without ceasing" " Paul exhorts each one of us – "and Brethren, pray for us!" Paul entreats the prayer warrior.
But how perplexing are all ways of praying that others remind us are required. And a multitude of methods of praying fills a library of books encouraging us to pray. And much of what we request in humility of heart perplexes us in its delivery... for answered prayer rarely comes packaged in the wrapping paper that we designed. We pray for peace that passes understanding as promised by the Prince of Peace, but life overturns into one impassioned turmoil, that triggers the question "Why?"… as trials of every hue impair our forward march and pain our hurting soul – until we see that peace is only achieved as we whisper.. "not as I will, but as Thou wilt".
We pray for patience as we picture a babbling brook in a sunny garden of ease... and yet He causes us to bang heads with those who tax us to the point of exhaustion, until He brings us into that place of submission, and moulds us into His likeness. We implore, "more faith Lord", and the foundation of our security is ripped away. The money evaporates; the roof caves in; the crops fail; the door slams shut – until we understand that patient endurance is meat for the hungry saint. We pray for unselfishness and He introduces circumstances beyond belief, that not only require the laying down of our life-breath... but all that we have and are, and He brings us to the point of realising that all things only come from Him. We pray for gentleness, and He sends us the perfect storm of trials and temptations. We pray for humility, and we are berated before friend and foe alike. We pray for strength but receive arrows of torment that cause our foot to stumble. We pray for love and yet He lacerates our hearts through friendships that He introduced.. until we reach that point of maturity where we can say, with Paul:- "I am content in all things".
We really do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us, and He knows what is best for us. He knows that conformity into the image of the Lord Jesus is all we need, for in Him is all peace and patience; in Him is gentleness, humility, and grace. He indeed is the Personification of unselfishness and strength; of mercy and love – and we live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved us, and gave Himself for us.
As we look away from the world, His definition increases in our vision’s clarity. As we deny the flesh.. then we are conformed into the likeness of His dear image. As we bind our mind to His mind, the Spirit aligns our thought to His thoughts.. as we cry: "Thy will not mine be done", – and then His Will becomes our heart’s desire.
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